Jun 16, 2024  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
2022-2023 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Sociology, B.A.

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   Member of the Division of Social Studies

Ross Haenfler


Jules Bacon
Karla Erickson
Xavier Escandell
Susan Ferguson
Sara Francisco
Lara Janson 
Sharon Quinsaat 
Kesho Scott - Senior Faculty Status
Jennifer Snook

Sociology, the scientific study of human behavior in social groups, seeks to understand how people interact, how they organize themselves in social groups, and how this organization changes.  Sociologists think that human life and human interactions are distinctively patterned, and that these patterns are observable, predictable, and reflect status differences in society. Sociologists also have a nuanced understanding of social structure, and they study the social relationships between individuals, groups, social institutions, and nations. Our curriculum provides a solid foundation in the key tenets of the discipline (social theory and research methods) while exposing students to a wide range of sociological issues, problems, arguments, and approaches.  Courses in sociology focus on the basic forms of social organization and social processes, including several sociological sub-fields such as social inequality, medical sociology, the sociology of deviance, political sociology, and the intersections between race, social class, and gender.  These courses contribute to a critical appreciation of how the social world operates—an essential understanding for any liberally educated person in a complex and rapidly changing world. Students of sociology will find that related work in psychology, anthropology, economics, political science, and history enhances their sociological insights. Majors are required to study statistics and are encouraged to participate in interdisciplinary courses, internships, community service learning, mentored advanced projects, and off-campus programs. The study of foreign languages also is highly recommended.

Sociological training is useful for any career, since all careers require working with people in groups or organizations. Courses in the major emphasize those skills important to students’ work in graduate school or in careers:  critical thinking, the ability to read and write analytically, to problem-solve, and to communicate orally. The discipline is particularly suited for careers in law, urban and social planning, medicine, non-profit organizations, journalism, social work, teaching, and governmental service.

Major Requirements: A minimum of 32 credits

Core Requirements: 12 credits

300-level courses: 8 credits

  • Eight credits are to be taken at the 300 level or above.

Sociology Electives: 12 credits

  • 12 elective credits to be taken in Sociology.
  • With permission, up to eight of the minimum 32 credits may be taken in related studies outside the department.
  • In consultation with their advisor, students may petition the department for outside credit.  We do not pre-approve Off Campus Study or other credit, but often approve petitions upon students’ return.

Additional Mathematics Requirements: 4 credits


Advanced Placement credit for Statistics can be used rather than completion of MAT/SST 115.  These courses may not be taken S/D/F.


To be considered for honors in sociology, graduating seniors, in addition to meeting the College’s general requirements for honors, must (1) complete both the recommended and required course work for the major, (2) have conducted original research which seeks to examine a sociological problem or question, have presented the work publicly, and must be judged worthy of honors by departmental consensus, and (3) exemplify sociological inquiry and professionalism in fulfilling commitments voluntarily undertaken within the department, the campus, and/or the discipline.